From the 26th to 27th of April 2019, Croatian Violence Monitor – A Study of the Phenomenology, Etiology, and Prosecution of Delinquent Violence with Focus on Protecting Particularly Vulnerable Groups of Victims (CroViMo), a project funded by Croatian Science Foundation, held project meeting at University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Law. At the meeting participated Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac, Head of the project, Prof. Dr. Davor Derenčinović, Chair of Scientific Advisory Board, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Goran Livazović, Head of Violence Research Lab Osijek, Assist. Prof. Dr. Marko Mrakovčić, Head of Violence Research Lab Rijeka, Assist. Prof. Dr. Lucija Sokanović, Head of Violence Research Lab Split, Assist. Prof. Dr. Ruža Karlović, Assist. Prof. Dr. Lucija Vejmelka, Dr. Nika Sušac, Dr. Marija Baković, Dr. Mirjana Kondor-Langer, Ms Valentina Šapina, Dr. Med. Vjekoslav Peitl, Mr Pero Mihaljević, Ms Reana Bezić, Project researchers, Ms Petra Šprem, Mr Karlo Bojčić and Ms Hana Gačal, Project assistants, Dr. Nikola Šimunović, Dr. Vedran Recher and Assist. Prof. Dr. Marta Dragičević Prtenjača. Dr. Gunda Wössner, Ms Petra Polić, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Igor Vuletić, and Dr. Nina Mišić Radanović were excused from the project meeting.
Head of the project, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac greeted all the participants and then Chair of Scientific Advisory Board, Prof. Dr. Davor Derenčinović gave an introductory speech. He congratulated project members on the successful first year, especially on the successfully written Violence Lab Manuals. He also emphasized importance of researching the phenomenon of violence within the multidisciplinary framework and the value of such research for practice, especially in terms of developing the prevention policies. He concluded with wishes for successful project meeting and further fruitful implementation of the project. Then Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac gave an overview of Violence Lab’s main tasks and goals in the second year of the project: extending the analysis of the statistical indicators of crime obtained from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics, conducting interviews with the relevant experts who encounter with the phenomenon of violence, arranging the pilot project on the ‘dark figure’ of delinquent violence, arranging the pilot study of the prosecutorial and court case files and developing the preliminary “genuine violence classification system”. She also initiated the discussion on the issue of authorship of the scientific articles and other publications resulting from the data obtained within the project and the matter of responsibilities for the published materials. Project members also discussed the rules and commons in different scientific disciplines regarding the order of authors’ names in publications. Project member made an agreement that they will approach every scientific article and publication resulting from the project individually. Also, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Goran Livazović agreed that they will make a document with general guidelines regarding the issue and check if the project members consent to it.
Ms Petra Šprem, Project assistant, gave project members a brief overview of project activities and tasks fulfilled within the first year: creation of visual identity and webpage of the project, e-mail accounts for the team members, project management programme “collective”, nomination of the Scientific Advisory Board, attendance of project meetings and conferences, presenting the project in media, writing the Violence Lab Manuals, submission of the annual report to the Croatian Science Foundations. After that, Ms Hana Gačal, Project assistant, gave an overview of project activities and tasks that follow during the second year, which include the 19th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology in Ghent, domestic conference presentation, pilot study of case file analysis, conducting interviews with the relevant experts who encounter with violence etc.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Goran Livazović, Head of Violence Research Lab Osijek, presented methodological guidelines for conducting interviews. He gave an overview of phases involved in preparation and implementation of an interview with emphasis on the methodological specifics of interview conduction and he raised an issue of ethical standards. He suggested that questions for the interviews should not be direct and invasive, rather that participants should be answering questions within the framework of their professional experience. Assist. Prof. Dr. Lucija Vejmelka, together with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Goran Livazović, gave an overview and timeline of activities involved in the implementation of the conducting interviews with the practitioners who encounter with the phenomenon of violence. She also gave an overview of ongoing activities: conceptualisation of the research and developing the questions for the interviews. Additionally, she emphasized that the input of all project members is wanted regarding further development of this part of the project and she presented future activities which include sampling, obtaining permission from the Ethical board and relevant Ministries, organising trainings on interview conduction for the project members and gathering contacts from potential research participants and their institutions.
Discussion on specific sectors from which participants will be recruited for the research and questions for the interviews was moderated by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac. Project members were suggesting the sectors with whose work they are familiar with and from which they know key persons who could participate in the interviews. After the working lunch, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac also moderated the discussion regarding “genuine violence classification system”. She briefly presented her idea and then Dr. Marija Baković, Project researcher, proposed that she could provide with short descriptions of the cases with which she works as a judicial forensics expert and which will be used for developing the preliminary “genuine violence classification system”. It was concluded that project members will analyse each specific case, rate how violent it was on a 1-5 scale, rank the cases from least violent to most violent and extract potential violence indicators.
At the end of first day of the meeting Ms Reana Bezić, moderated the discussion regarding open issues and main conclusions. She also invited all participants to working dinner and continuation of idea sharing.
On the following morning, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac, presented the Violence Lab Manuals, idea behind them, their structure, content and purpose with the emphasis on the effort and good work project members put in developing, writing and reviewing the Manuals. She also moderated the discussion regarding conceptual aspects of The Joint Violence Lab Manual, especially concerning defining research subject and scope. Discussion on the Normative aspects of The Joint Violence Lab was moderated by Ms Petra Šprem with an emphasis of criminal law institutes. Ms Hana Gačal moderated the discussion on the Methodological aspects of Manual within which she presented decisions made regarding the sampling. Discussion on the Empirical aspects of the Manual and the procedure of the study was moderated by Ms Reana Bezić. Project members compleminted the Manual and stated that they consent to it.
Mr Karlo Bojčić, new doctoral student on the project, presented new research course development, Violence Lab’s add on, the study of violence in the earliest age. He gave an overview of the preliminary draft of his PhD study with theoretical background – Brofenbrenner’s ecological model, ethical aspects of research with children and proposed methodology of the study. After the working lunch, potential new Violence Lab researchers Dr. Nikola Šimunić and Dr. Vedran Recher were introduced to project members by Ms Reana Bezić and afterwards they briefly introduced themselves and their research interests. Dr. Nikola Šimunić is a young demographer from “Ivo Pilar” Institute interested in geographical aspects of crime. Dr. Vedran Recher is also a young scientist, working at Zagreb’s Institute of Economics, especially interested in studying relationship between economics and crime. All project members agreed that both young researchers could make great contributions to the project. At the end of the Project meeting Ms Reana Bezić, Project researcher, Ms Petra Šprem and Ms Hana Gačal, Project Assistants gave a final overview of future activities and important deadlines to project members who were also informed that they will get a new Info packages with their own responsibilities and tasks. At the end, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac, Head of the project, officially closed the meeting and thanked all the participants for coming to Zagreb. After the official Project meeting, open for all project members, was finished, closed Project meeting with the IT Company took place. In this meeting participated Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac, Head of the project, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Goran Livazović, Head of Violence Research Lab Osijek, Ms Reana Bezić, Project researcher, Ms Hana Gačal, Project assistant and Ms Marina Meštrović, Representative of the IT Company. Participants first took a look at the developed structure and parameters for Violence Lab questionnaire then they discussed the technical aspects of implementation and development of the interviews and the pilot project on the ‘dark figure’ of delinquent violence.